Passage International No.2

David Mach, Heavy Duty, Installation at Hamumche Gallery, 1997, 50 Tons of Newspapers, 3 Shipping Containers, 500 Wood Plates, Installation View (1)

“Passage” International Art Encounters Project No.2  Nira Itzhaki The joint exhibition between the British artist David Mach and the Israeli artist Zadok Ben-David is the second in a series of international “Passage” encounters at the Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art. The project, which started in November 1996 in cooperation with Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, the director […]

Passage International No.3

Gideon Gechtman, Levana, 1997, granite, plastic, metal, light fixtures, 130X30X30 cm

“Passage” International Art Encounters No. 3

Nira Itzhaki


The joint exhibition of Gideon Gechtman, Bertrand Lavier and Haim Steinbach is the third project in the series of international art encounters “Passage” of the Chelouche Gallery of Contemporary Art. The Project – begun in 1996 in collaboration with Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna – puts the emphasis on an international exhibition space where artists meet, who express themselves in a similar or parallel language' to hold a true dialogue in real time. A two-way meeting-point. A place for cross-fertilization.

At the meeting between Gideon Gechtman (living and working in Israel), Haim Steinbach (living and working in New York) and Bertrand Lavier (living and working in France), an interesting dialogue is created between the artists and new works were conceived as a result of ideas they presented and discussed.

This is the first time Steinbach, Lavier and Gechtman meet in an intimate exhibit allowing for a discussion between them. This exhibition shows the results of dialogue, which is so lacking in this area. In-spite of common meeting-points – relation between object and image, origin and copy, real and artificial, “alienation”, use of daily objects and the severance from their original context – all deal differently with the way of representation and how the real and its representation change roles.
With Steinbach objects are taken as is; while questioning the concept of originality' they are essentially arrangements and they “enable a kind of 'museofication' of objects, as if one can return them to their 'objecticity', and not only see them as symbols of themselves”. The slogans Steinbach exhibits, 0%, &, אור בלבנה!!!, deal with what is missing, when the theme or the product itself are absent. As they are painted on the gallery walls, they deal with the representation without 'substance'.

In Gechtman's case the objects are dealt with. The representation of reality is done by copying it or by interfering with the object. The objects are not ready-mades in the regular sense, they are perceived as such. Thus the gap between the original and its representation is created. In the works Gechtman shows, Moonshine, Levana and Moonlight Brick, the treatment of the ready-made is not only the treatment of the object itself, but also of the marketing-advertising system which stands behind it.
Bertrand Lavier combines daily objects in such a way, that each one can be something else or many things concurrently, a refrigerator for example can be a base, a painting or a sculpture. In the exhibition Lavier shows “Walt Disney Productions”. These are enlarged photographs of “paintings” and “sculptures” “exhibited” in an “art museum” in a Walt Disney cartoon series. By enlarging them and turning them into photographs, he grants these virtual works an actual standing in the art world. He transposes a “modern” sculpture from the virtual world of Disney to a three-dimensional work, thereby providing it with a concrete existence in the world.

Passage International No.1

Passage International Art Encounters

Project No.1

Nira Itzhaki

“Passage” is a project where the exhibition space becomes international, with no borders, where Israeli artists meet artists from aboard, who create in a similar artistic language. It is an international meeting-point to which galleries, curators, museum directors, art critics, artists and collectors are invited to hold a two-way dialogue, share ideas and hold joint exhibitions.
“Passage” is intended to be a regularly recurring artistic event which is lively and exciting, where the parallels of time and space meet and new artistic connections are created in a dynamic structure of cultural processes and artistic cultural memory.
This forum is a continuation of the Chelouche Gallery activities during bthe past years of exchanging artists and exhibitions and of participating in international art events in order to expand the possibilities of art shows and holding a genuine dialogue, in real time, in the international art world.
The joint exhibition of the Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi and the Frrench artist Patrick Raynaud, which takes place as part of the project “Passage”, is realised together with Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna.


“Passage”: Motti Mizrachi and Patrick Raynaud

Dr. Lóránd Hegyi

Materiality and immateriality, body and mind, struggle and transcendental peace, and concurrently, the disturbing ambivalence of coexisting banal, simple objects and spiritual signs characterize the works of Motti Mizrachi and Patrick Raynaud. The constant latent tension, the feeling of being self-dependent, the signs which indicate dangers and the dramatic presence of sensual objects which sensitize yhe different perceptions – connecting between a strong and intentionally heightened feeling of the body and the intellectual contexts – these moments can be found with both artists. Just as amazing is the dialogue with light as a metaphora, which, as a catalys connects the different refrences with signal systems. In this manner a “passage” is created where the artist can wangle between sophisticated culture and the banal ordinary culture, in search of his place and role.
Dout and conviction, intellectual restlessness and harmony, skepticism and belief, fragility and monumentality, transitoriness and timelessness all exist side by side and are unseparable in the artistic situation of the “passage”, where people meet, languages mix, cultural archetypes are confronted with the bright reality of the aimless, spontaneous lack of involvement.
The life of the “passage” has no objective and will, is true and discernible; it is at the same time heavy and light, irresponsible and suffering, accidental and fateful, reality and illusion. This almost unbearable complexity and ambivalence stands at the center of Motti Mizrachi and Patrick Raynaud offers an interpretation process, where the observer does not only see the “passage” as the natural place of the artist, but can also realize his own dialogues and confrontations.

Passage International No.4

“Passage” International Art Encounters

Project No.4 

Nira Itzhaki


the joint exhibition between the Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto and the Israeli artist Micha Ullman is the fourth in a series of international “Passage” encounters at the Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art.
The project, which started in November 1996 in cooperation with Dr. Lóránd Hegyi, the director of the Vienna Museum of Modern Art, gives emphasis to the global exhibition space which becomes increasingly cosmopolitan and without borders, and serves as a venue for artists, who create in an adjacent, communicating and analogue language. This is a continuous artistic event, which strives to expand the exhibition possibilities by organizing joint exhibitions and carrying out a genuine real time dialog.

In this exhibition an interesting encounter is created between two international artists of the same generation, who combine local cultures with universal values.
Ullman, who has its roots in Israeli-Jewish tradition, is engaged with local identity since the 70's, and over the years changed the local element into universal besides being constantly attached to everyday life. Past and present are also important elements in Pistoletto's oeuvre, whose roots are in the Italian tradition. Two different and parallel cultures meet in one exhibition, and surprisingly have many things in common.

Ullman's sand tables facing Pistoletto's mirror works: The evasive and transitory reality, the doubt, the question and the uncertainty which raise apropos of observing and presentation modes; the connection between past and present and the flow of time – are all distinctly raised issues in the dialog between both artists. The involvement and reflection of the spectator in Pistoletto's mirrors as well as in Ullman's works, who in the past years has also incorporated glass into his work (Mirror in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Library in Berlin, East in the Israel Museum, and the sand tables in the current exhibition), has made the spectator an inseparable part of these works.

Future joints between both artists are the reflections, beauty and elegance on the one hand, and the Harsh, Sensual and Meditative on the other hand.
Ullman presents two glass-covered sand tables (Negative 1, Negative 2). Red sand is thrown from the ceiling and function as a light, “illuminating” and marking the traces of the tableware and the objects. The sand is the negative of the camera film and the missing photograph, i.e. the positive, is the memory, whereas the developing of the film is carried out in the spectator's imagination. The tables are covered with glass, sealed and impenetrable, denying any access. An isolation-creating situation, as shown in the Library in Berlin, or in last year's installation Sanday that was exhibited in the artists workshops in Tel Aviv. The work itself exists in the spectator's imagination. Pistoletto's mirror reflecting the spectator, and the mirrors which face each other also create an impenetrable world, which exist only in the spectator's imagination.
The mirrors work shown by Pistoletto in this exhibition (Divided Mirror, Corner Mirror, Crown of Mirrors), deals with the dimensions of space and time. The real space behind the spectator becomes part of the fictitious space in the mirror/ thus, the mirror becomes the venue of both the physical and fictitious reality.

Both artists occupy themselves with the changes occurring in the perspective; with the inversions of interior-exterior, positive-negative; with undermining the reality and distoring the spectator's ability to see in a given space. Ullman's pit works created in the 70's mark the beginning of this process through which the artist changed the spectator's observing perspective. Then came the pit work performed by the artist in the 1980 Venice Biannale; the chair sculptures; the Library in Berlin (covered with glass, denying the spectator's entrance, reflecting the surroundings and the movement of the spectator, who stands on top of it) up to the Sanday installation.
Pistoletto has begun to engage in the mirror perspective, in which every direction is being reversed, in the 60's. His woks deal with the relationships between the figure painted on the mirror and the spectator. It deals also with the reflection of the spectator in the painting, as well as with the movement which gathers past and future up to the point where their existence is not certain any more.

The relationship between the painted object and its reflection induces an endless “creation” of mirror paintings. The past and the present merge and overlap one another on the surface of the painting. The mirror paintings turn to be the venue between oneness and multiplicity, past and future. The place where opposites meet becomes also the venue of the multiplication and the division of reality as being reflected in the mirror. In the pictures one can see forward backward at the same time.
In this exhibition everything turns to be a part of everything, everything is reflected in everything, Ullman's works are reflected in those of Pistoletto's, and the spectator' being reflected in everything, becomes himself a walking “sculpture” in the gallery.
Both artists share the emotional and spiritual, as well as the physical and sensual experience. The perception of the passing moment in relation to the eternal on the one hand, and the tension between the concept and the action on the other hand, create remarkably exiting moments in this exhibition.

Passage International No.5

Passage International No.5

Nira Itzhaki

The joint exhibition of the Portuguese artist Pedro Cabrita Reis and the Israeli artist Gal Weinstein is the 5th project in the series of Passage: International Art Encounters, taking place at the Chelouch Gallery for Contemporary Art.

This exhibition’s mutual installation comprised of works by both artists keeps a dialogue with the architectonic structure of the gallery. Not only has it transformed the entire space, but made the space an integral part of the work. Pedro Cabrita Reis (born 1956 in Lisbon, Portugal) has erected four red silicate pillars which join floor and ceiling. Three of them had been broken by violent hammer blows which made them look like archeological debris of part of a construction site. To the fourth pillar, which stands opposite to the Gallery’s entrance, a glass jug full of water is adhered with brown tape stripes. In another space within the gallery Cabrita Reis placed three large paintings. Gal Weinstein (born 1970 in Israel) has hung white transparent silicone drapes (sweeping the floor) and thus creating a magnificent transparent, illuminated curtain. They divide the gallery’s space into three smaller spaces, in which the pillars and Cabrita Reis’ paintings are placed.
The real space behind the silicone drapes turns into part of an imaginary space existing in the spectator’s eyes, whereas the drape becomes the meeting place of the physical and the imaginary reality.

The silicone drapes, resembling waterfalls or shining transparent beds, function as territory definers. The spectator has to decide whether or not to become physically involved in the work. The passage between the silicon drapes, which enable the movement from one space into another, turns the spectator into an active participant in the installation.


Cabrita Reis’ brick pillars and Weinstein’s silicone drapes deal with the relationship between art and architecture within the space and time dimensions, and raise questions about reality “fooling” space as well as doubts and uncertainty evoked by different viewing possibilities.

Both artists have chosen simple everyday objects and materials such as silicate bricks and silicone, which lack any special identity, and used them as components of their architectonic structures – sensuous and spiritual at the same time.
In their theatrical style, their humor, irony and lack of functionality both artists share a common language. The reflections, beauty and elegance contrasting the rigidity, sensuality and meditativeness create additional joints between these artists. Both deal with the deceptiveness of perspective, as well as the contrasts shown by inside-outside, positive-negative relations, and both attempt to weaken reality and blur the capacity of the spectator to see the real space.

The dialogue between both artists in this mutual exhibition within the framework of the passage series is so perfect, that the spectator could not distinguish one from another, for their work merges into one. This exhibition, in which everything becomes part of everything, creates a new range of associations open to various commentary and observation modes. This is the moment when the spectator moves from reality into a quasi non-site of a Zenic spirit of existence of its own.

Passage International No.6

Passage: International Art Encounters

Project No. 6 

Nira Itzhaki


The joint exhibition of the Spanish artist Jaume Plensa and the Israeli artist Nir Alon is the 6th project in the series of Passage: International Art Encounters, taking place at the Chelouche Gallery for Contemporary Art.

At this exhibition Jaume Plensa (born 1955 in Barcelona, Spain) presents an installation of round, bronze gongs lit in the center and floating in the Gallery's space. Two pairs of words are engraved in the middle of each gong: “water-fire” – “hair-bold”. A drumstick is hanging near each gong and the visitors become active drummers i.e. participants in the installation. Each gong has its specific sound and when hit, a sequence of different sounds is sent into the air, onto the visitor's body and Gallery walls. In another corner Plensa hung a sculpture made of blown glass drops hanging from a white cloth. The feeling of hovering, the lightness of the glass in contrast to the rigidity of the bronze, the dramatic use of the light, the gongs' sounds floating in the gallery's space altogether create a sensual dreamy, enchanting and theatrical ambience.

Next to him, Nir Alon (born 1964 in Tel Aviv, Israel) presents a sculptural installation comprised of two objects: the first – “Observational Learning” – consisting of a desk painted in white, held by 2 office lamps, the one supporting and the other balancing it. The lamps illuminate drawings outlined directly on the wall. The second object – “Applied Behavior” – consists of a perambulator wrapped in masking tape, which simultaneously supports and is supported by an office lamp that illuminates the perambulator's seat. 

The inner light source creates a shadow, which by withdrawing from the works disentangles from the object. At the same time the illumination creates a shadow that defines the object, which causes the physical object to dismantle, leaving an imaginary space in the wall.

Jaume Plensa and Nir Alon create a genuine dialogue, which enriches them through their differences as well as their similarities. The affinity between both artists appears not only through the sound and the theatrical light that defines its surroundings, but also through their placement and installment, which creates an elevation (by means of hovering). The use of light and shadow causes the works to be a bit floating and slightly disengaged from the immediate surroundings, as though it was a fantastic reverie. On the one hand the light makes the work distinct, and on the other hand causes its isolation. The abundance of “disengaged” works finally creates a hovering, illusionary, dreamy and somnambulant environment, which can be interpreted as detachment from reality, autistic- or astronaut-like – disengaged, but at the same time also looking down, floating, receiving and transmitting some kind of essential, focused and principal matter.

Both artists are somewhat theatrical in their approach in the sense of creating scenes (similar to those in “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland(Dreamland)/Through the Looking-Glass” etc.). Thus, the exhibition turns into a quasi-theatrical performance, in which the scenery is detached from the immediate reality, yet reacts and is related to it.

The acquaintance with the installation is made by way of walking through it. Its location in the space determines both movement and sound. The act of watching through the body creates a sensual-physical definition. Both artists build an environment in which there is equal place for both the visitor and space, but whereas Plensa invites the spectator to take part in his work, Alon creates a quasi-theater, leaving the spectator outside.

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